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Calgary Yacht Club

Copied from Saddles, Sleighs and Sadirons - Copyright 1971

The lake has always been a centre of interest. The long expanse of water created many uses and one know abuse. People coming to the city from the east would bless the lake every time for they could well picture time saved, gas saved and the wear and tear on old lizzie, if only the road could have gone straight across the lake. However, the Calgary Yacht Club can probably be credited for saving the unobstructed length of the lake. Pontoon planes use it for landing in the summer and ski-equipped aircraft use it in winter. 

Not only the local gentry but residents from Calgary and tourists have come in ever increasing numbers to enjoy Chestermere Lake. So much so that in 1959 the provincial government purchased land from the W.I.D. to develop a campsite near the bridge. During the summer months space is at a premium, which only proves the popularity of the area.

The lake became a natural place for yachting, and in 1923 the first sailboat owned by Morris Shyback made it's appearance on the water. In 1924 Roy Lea purchased a 15' craft called the Native Daughter and interested Mike O'Sullivan in the sport. Thus these three men formed the Calgary Sailing Club.

The early 30's saw the advent of the power boat with fellows such as Billy Brooks, Chuck Clark, Lloyd Webster and George Harris taking part in this boating activity. In 1932, the Calgary Yacht club was formed and A.B. Himmelman was commissioned to build a club house near the store on the NE corner of the lake. A rather elaborate marine railway for launching boats, piers and boat houses were constructed at the same time.

This club created new interest on the lake. The club flourished during the 30's with a membership of some eighty families enjoying both power boating and sailing. The 2nd World War saw a drop in membership to about 25 members, but the club remained active. The late forties showed an increase in the number of power boats on the lake and the CYC decided to move their club house to its present location on the East side of the lake in 1951. This move accommodated both the sailor and power boater, as they could sail and boat both north and south.

The late fifties and early sixties proved even more successful in club activities. To facilitate some 120 family members an extension was built on the club house. Ed Lowney decided it was time to form a junior section to the club so organized these young people for sailing classes, and has carried this program on to this day. From this group has emerged a National Junior Champion, a National Sea Scout Champion and literally hundreds of enthusiastic top flight sailors.

The Commodore's tea is an annual social event held in June. This is a dress up affair where all boaters sail, power or what have you that floats, make a day of socializing with the traditional sail past followed by tea being served in the club house.

1968 saw the addition of a skippers lounge complete with large open fireplace, where sailors can relax after an arduous race or just to socialize in the evening. The club now boasts 1,000 feet of docking space and probably the finest facilities in western Canada.

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